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A gag is sometimes worn during some bondage and BDSM roleplays. Gags are usually associated with roleplays involving bondage, but that is not necessarily the case. The person who wears the gag is regarded as the submissive partner, while the one not wearing one is regarded as the dominant one.
People wear a gag for a variety of reasons. Some people derive erotic pleasure from a gag, either in a submissive or dominant role. When combined with other physical restraints, the wearing of a gag can increase the wearer's sense of helplessness and anxiety level within a BDSM scene, by depriving them of a means to influence the progress of a sexual activity through speech. Some people enjoy the feeling of surrendering the ability to speak to another person in an activity.
For some people, gags have connotations of punishment and control, and thus can be used as a form of humiliation. It is considered[who?] that wearing a gag without restraints is an act of humiliation, as is an open mouth gag. Some fetishists are sexually aroused by the sound gagged people make when they try to speak, or by seeing a person drool uncontrollably.
The type of gag that is used will depend on the tastes of the parties, to the type of roleplay scene, as well as what is on hand at the time and safety considerations. Some gags are designed to fill the mouth in some manner, while others are designed to provide access to the mouth by forcing the mouth open. Gags may be classified as over-the-mouth type, mouth stuffing type or mouth opening type.
When a person is sexually aroused by gags, it may be considered a paraphilia. One specific paraphilia involving a gag relates to video depictions in which the captor gags the damsel in distress to stop her screaming for help. Some people are sexually aroused by such imagery, even if there is no nudity or sexual act present, or even if the victim is only gagged but not restrained in any way. The 1981 made for television film Terror Among Us has become a cult film among gag fetishists for its lengthy portrayal of bound and gagged women.
Placing a gag on anybody is very risky, as it involves a substantial risk of asphyxia if the subject's nose is blocked while wearing a gag. Using a gag on somebody who is ill, or affected by some condition such as the common cold, catarrh, the flu, or common allergies (including sensitivities to cologne or perfume) is also quite dangerous, as most gags make it difficult or impossible to breathe through the mouth. Vomiting and choking also pose a risk, which further blocks the airway. For this reason, a gagged subject should never be left alone.
In practice, no gag is effective enough to silence someone completely without inhibiting breathing. Most gags that do stop the subject from making intelligible speech still allow loud inarticulate vocal noises to call for help. Thus, a pattern of noises, such as three grunts in rapid succession, is sometimes used as a safeword by BDSM players. It is also common to use an additional non-verbal safety mechanism, such as a solid object held in the hand, which can be released by the gagged person as a sign that they are in distress.
In use, the ball is strapped into the mouth behind the teeth, with the straps going around the head to secure it in place. If the ball is very large, it may be difficult to push it into place behind the teeth, or to remove it. A ball gag's purpose is more of humiliation rather than silence; the wearer can still be heard, but it renders their speech completely unintelligible, distorts their facial features, and, should the wearer attempt to talk, excessive drooling will result.
A wiffle gag is a simple ball gag that replaces the standard solid rubber ball with a light plastic ball similar to the one used for the game of floorball. It is generally safer because there is constant airflow.
It consists of a bar that is held in place in the wearer's mouth by straps or other device. Unlike the metal bit that is most common in horse bridles, the bar of a bit gag is usually a soft rubber cylinder. It is not very effective in preventing speech, unless combined with mouth stuffing, although it will make it somewhat more difficult for the wearer to produce coherent speech. Occasionally reins are attached. Because of the possibility of injury to the lips, the bit gag is not suitable for rough play.
A butterfly gag is a wing shaped gag, that is usually inflatable by means of a rubber bulb. The central part fits behind the teeth to fill up the mouth, while the wings go between the teeth and the lips. The gag inflates in the shape of a butterfly. This kind of gag is very hard to keep in the wearer; use of an O-ring in front of the gag strapped to the back of the head will hold the butterfly gag in place.
A more effective variant of the OTM gag is called the cleave gag. Instead of being tied over the person's mouth, the scarf or cloth is pulled between his or her teeth. While such a gag of thin material is not very effective, a thick scarf can be used to hold his or her mouth open, and the tighter that gag is tied the better it works, although no matter how tightly it is tied, the gagged person can usually spit it out. It can be used effectively however. But even when it is applied properly, the gagged person can still nearly say the words they are trying to say, but it just comes out muffled. Occasionally a knot is tied in the centre of the gag so it works more like a ball gag.
Detective / over-the-mouth (OTM) 
This type of gag is often described in fiction as preventing the subject from speaking, using soft materials like scarves and bandannas. In practice it does not silence the subject very effectively. The long scarf or bandanna is pulled over the subject's mouth and tied at the back of his/her head. Images of OTM gags, usually applied on women, had been prevalent since the film serials of the early 1900s. For this reason, the OTM gag is associated with the typical damsel in distress. It is also sometimes called the "detective gag" because many of its first appearances were in crime serials.
Bandit / over-the-nose (OTN) 
A bandit gag covers the mouth as well as the nose, and is commonly used in Japan and on many cartoons. Without stuffing it is not very effective. Also known as an over the nose and mouth gag. Its name is due because it looks similar to a bandit mask.
Forniphilic gag 
A forniphilic gag is a type of gag that has the primary purpose of objectifying and/or humiliating the wearer. The gag becomes a mounting point for a tool or other device which allows a slave to perform a task or service for their master or mistress. When employing the gag, the slave's hands are usually bound behind them so they have no other option than to control the tool with the gag. In order to provide stability and to allow the slave to control the tool, a muzzle gag with a mouthpiece is commonly used as a base for attaching the tool.
Types of tool or device can include the following;
Gags employing a dildo or vibrator are readily available from on-line retailers; ashtray gags are also popular but to a lesser extent. Other types of forniphilic gags are much more difficult to source.
The bondage artist Robert Bishop made use of forniphillic gags in his drawings (usually in a humorous context). The term forniphilic comes from the word forniphilia which is the incorporation of a bound person into furniture or other objects.
A funnel gag consists of a funnel with a tube leading from its spout into the mouth, usually with straps to hold the tube in. Such a gag is used to force the bound person to drink a fluid. It is very easy to choke during such forced drinking. Watersports fetishes may use this gag.
A hand over the mouth can be used as a gag. When hand gagging someone, a person usually grabs the victim from behind since the victim cannot see this coming. Then, the person firmly places their unfolded hand over the victim's closed mouth. Then they may pull the victim into their body for extra leverage and control. Handgags are common in thrillers and are often associated with damsel-in-distress phenomena.
A harness gag encircles the head, and the straps are generally secured by buckles that fasten at the back. Head harnesses are most commonly used to provide points of attachments to secure various kinds of gags, such as ball gags, bit gags, muzzle gags and ring gags, although they also have other uses, such as providing attachment points for other forms of bondage, or may be used simply for their psychological effect. Head harnesses may also function as a gag by themselves, by restricting the ability to open the mouth, or have a mouth cover as an integral part.
Head harnesses, like many other forms of bondage, also have the effect of creating a sense of objectification and erotic helplessness in the wearer, which can be erotic for the wearer, or for those observing them. Many head harnesses are designed with straps that pass in front of the wearer's eyes, restricting their vision, and further increasing the sense of objectification and erotic subjection.
An inflatable gag is usually a rubber balloon which is inflated by a hand valve. Most inflatable gags will not hold in the gagged person's mouth well, so the gag is usually paired with a ring gag to keep it in place.
A knotted gag is a blend of the ball and cleave gags. The scarf either has a knot tied in the middle and placed in the gagged person's mouth or is an over the mouth (OTM) gag placed backward with the knot tied inside the person's mouth. The knotted gag is able to soak up the saliva that the ball gag does not and can be easily washed for reuse. Knots can be doubled or tripled to fit the size of the gagged person's mouth.
This is a term for a series of gags over each other, for example an Over the Mouth (OTM) over a cleave gag. Another piece of cloth could be tied under the gagged person's chin in conjunction with an OTM gag.
Bondage pornography also depicts the use of medical gags such as the Whitehead gag and Jennings gag in BDSM contexts. Such gags allow unlimited access to the mouth. They stop coherent speech, but do little to silence a person.
Mouth corset 
A mouth corset is a type of neck corset that covers both the neck and the mouth.
Incorporating a gag into a neck corset presents a few safety issues: should the wearer begin to choke, it is not easy to remove the gag quickly. For this reason, most mouth corsets use a simple muzzle gag that merely covers the mouth and does not force anything into the mouth, thus minimising the risk.
Despite not forcing anything into the mouth, mouth corsets are usually very effective in gagging the victim due to the fact that the chin piece prevents the wearer from opening their mouth and dislodging the gag and the lacing at the back of the corset holds the gag tightly against the mouth making a very effective seal. Also, the cheeks are compressed.
This gag has two mouthguards, similar to those worn by football and hockey players. One rests on the lower teeth of the wearer while the other is against the top. Again, like sports mouthguards, these mouthguards can be softened in boiling water to fit to the mouth of the wearer. The mouthguards are attached to a front faceplate, like most plug gags, and straps from the front to the back.
A muzzle gag works in a similar way as an OTM gag, only that they are usually made of leather, are fastened around the head with buckles and straps, and cover the lower part of the face. They have different shapes and colors, depending on the manufacturer. It is so called because it resembles a muzzle used on animals, with a flexible pad which straps over the mouth, and sometimes also around the cheeks and chin. Muzzle gags have a strong psychological effect on some people, because of the association of being restrained in a way generally associated with animals. Restricting movement of the jaw and covering the cheeks can both increase the efficiency of a gag. It is difficult to draw the line between a muzzle gag and a head harness with attached gag.
Muzzle gags are probably one of the oldest gags and illustrations showing muzzle-like gag devices have been observed from early colonial times.
A muzzle gag may also have an attached posture collar and may also be fitted with an integrated pecker gag.
Panel gag 
Same as a muzzle gag except without a head harness.
A pecker or penis gag is a gag that has a bulge resembling a phallus (an erect penis) or a nipple that is placed into the mouth to enable the wearer to suck on it in a manner similar to an adult pacifier. The use of a phallus shape is intended to give it an erotic connotation, but it may be a large knob similar to a ball gag or it may be inflatable. The pecker may be wide and flat and large enough almost to fill the mouth, intended to depress the tongue.
To keep the gag in the mouth, it is usually paired with a ring, muzzle or panel gag attached to a strap that buckles behind the head.
A ring gag is similar to a ball gag, except that the ball is replaced by a hollow ring. The ring reduces the risk of choking, and allows access to the mouth. Oral sex may be performed if the ring is big enough.
A ring gag will cause the subject to drool uncontrollably, this often being the purpose of the gag.
A rope gag consists of a length of rope wound multiple times through the mouth of the person being gagged - similar to a cleave gag. Soft rope, such as nylon, works well for the comfort of the person being gagged, but rougher rope, such as hemp, will scratch the lips quite a bit. Rope gags can be made into a part of a full-body tie as well, if the person tying the "victim" up uses the same length of rope for the gag as he does for the tie.
Spider Gag 
A variation on the ring gag, the spider gag is also called a 2nd generation ring gag. The ring has hooks on the sides so as to keep the wearer from flipping the ring horizontally in their mouth. Unlike the ring gag which can be easily flipped, a spider gag is essentially functional and non-decorative. Generally these gags have interchangeable rings so as to accommodate both the wearers' mouth and the size of any object that might be inserted through the ring.
A stuff gag is very similar to, and works in the same way as, the ball gag. The person's mouth is stuffed with handkerchiefs, scarves, socks, hosiery, panties, day sheers, bandanas or any item rolled into a ball, acting as a stopper. To reduce the chances of choking, the stuff gag is never pushed all the way into the person's mouth. Instead, a large part of it hangs out of the mouth, allowing the top to pull it out easily when he/she has to. Sometimes, to further ensure that the gag does not accidentally slip deeper into the person's mouth, the top may use a larger gag. It is then secured with a cleave gag, cloth gag or tape gag.
While it works in preventing speech, a person who has been stuff gagged can easily spit it out by pushing it with his/her tongue. However, it is for this reason that the stuff gag is one of the safest gags to use during self bondage, as the person with his/her hands tied can still spit the gag out if he/she feels any kind of discomfort. However, the risks of asphyxiation and choking are still present for someone who is not careful.
For the more extreme application, a stuff gag can be used in conjunction with a tape gag, effectively rendering the partner completely silent. This practice requires greater caution, since the risk for asphyxiation is high
A tape gag involves the use of sticky tape over the mouth. The most commonly used types are duct tape, gaffer tape and PVC tape from two to three inches wide. Tape gags are the simplest gags to apply. If the wearer blows while the tape is on it makes it easier to remove, making it not the most effective gag. To better secure the tape, a long strip of tape can be wrapped around the lower part of the person's head. A strip from ear to ear under the jaw restricts jaw movement, making the gag more effective. However, the tape can cause the skin on the lips to be ripped off and it can irritate the lips and cause fever blisters in those who have dormant fever blisters or cold sores. The tape can also rip hair off when wrapped around the head. The longer the tape is left on, the harder it will be to remove from the skin.
Though many prefer ball gags and bit gags during bondage play, tape gags are often used when neither is available. The top may also use tape during a roleplay where a ball gag will be inappropriate; for example, a kidnapper and captive scene that does not immediately lead to sex. Tape is used by kidnappers since it is most effective at keeping hostages quiet.
While tape gags can be combined with stuff gags for extra effectiveness, it is easy for one to choke on the stuffing inside of the mouth.
A tube gag uses a tube instead of a ring. It allows easy breathing but not much mouth access. It is also possible to have a tube through the ball of a ball gag.
Whitehead gag 
A Whitehead gag, also called a mouth spreader gag or a dental open mouth gag, is a device to hold the mouth open. The device is similar to a Jennings gag, the main difference being the two ratchets in front of toll.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gags (BDSM)|
- "Autoerotic Asphyxia". BBC. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- "BDSM - leather ball gags". AllExperts. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- "Gags and Muzzles". Sex Toy Vibe. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- Blevins, Candace (2010). Safeword Rainbow. Excessica Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-60982-425-9.
- "Inflatable Butterfly Gag (B214)". JT Stockroom. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "How to Tie". Bev's Knotty Club. 19 July 2010.